Posts from the ‘nonfiction’ Category

A LIFELONG DILEMMA

Florence Nightingale: A Life Inspired

Written by Lynn M. Hamilton

This is an interesting biography that focuses on Nightingale’s personal struggles as well as her pioneering work in nursing. Florence was born into a wealthy English Victorian family. Throughout her life, Florence was torn between what was expected of woman born to a well-to-do nineteenth-century family and her strong ties to the Unitarian Church, which demanded community service to those less fortunate in society. Her family’s wide travels in Europe allowed her to meet powerful thinkers like Victor Hugo and Alexis De Tocqueville. While her family urged her to marry, Florence resisted. By the time she was thirty-two, Florence had asserted her independence by assuming a role as superintendent of a nursing home even though she received no salary. Her service in the Crimean War revealed the serious flaws in hospital care. More soldiers died from their illnesses than in battle. Nightingale demanded that abuses like poor lighting, sanitation, and ventilation be addressed. She urged proper training for nursing students and hospital sanitation, reflecting the germ theory of illness.

I was not aware of Florence’s work in India and the depth of personal struggle she experienced between her convictions and the demands of her family. The fact that she refused to sit on her laurels and accept praise for her accomplishments, but rather be self-critical about her own mistakes and failings impressed me. Her influence on modern healthcare practices cannot be underestimated.

I recommend the book for anyone interested in learning more about the evolution of nursing and modern healthcare or to learn about the life of a remarkable, Victorian woman willing to stand up and be counted. Recommended for ages ten and older.

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HEALTHY HANDOUT

SMART HEALTH: What Today’s Doctors Aren’t Telling You

Written by Dr. Craig C. Koehler

This book is written by a chiropractor, whose personal health struggles began with a bicycle accident as a twelve-year-old child. After hitting his head on the cement, he began to experience nasal problems with sneezing and coughing. In an effort to find the cause, doctors prescribed medications, antibiotics, shots and a tonsillectomy. Five years later, he injured his back and visited a chiropractor where he learned about the connection of the nervous system with the sinuses. Koehler decided on becoming a chiropractor and dedicating himself to help patients deal with pain.

The statistics are scary. In the United States, medical misdiagnosis is the 3rd leading cause of death. Perhaps even more telling is the fact that 80% of the world’s pain-killing drugs are consumed by Americans. Relieving pain becomes more important than finding the cause of that pain. Koehler details the diseases that really are killing people and how consumers are harming themselves with sugar and junk food. By switching off what we put into the body, the natural immune systems can use good nutrition, exercise, meditation, and proper sleep habits to recharge the body. None of this these are easy tasks to accomplish. The doctor urges consumers to join up with a support team to work at establishing a system to turn unhealthy habits into a new pattern that will lead to a healthier body and a longer life.

Recommended as a good reference guide and motivational tool for anyone who desires to establish a healthier lifestyle.

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JUST CRUISING ALONG….

The Family Cruise Companion Guide To Cruising With Kids

Written by Elaine M. Warren

If you have ever thought about or are in the process of planning a family cruise vacation, this guide is just what the doctor ordered. Warren has included just about everything about which you might have questions.

She begins the process by talking about how one decides if a cruise is what you want and lists benefits of cruise travel. Should you bring a baby or toddler? If the answer is yes, how do you decide which cruise. Factors include time of year, length of cruise, budget, and location. Next look at the different cruise lines and what they offer. Profiles of the major cruise ships are included. Once you decide, there is lots more to consider like options for children, on and off board entertainment, and the type of cabin accommodations offered.

Warren does not leave out details like transportation to and from the ship, packing, travel insurance, dining choices, and maintaining health and safety while on board. Wish I had this guide before booking my first cruise; it would have saved me lots of headaches and unnecessary expenses. Recommended for any single or family person considering cruise travel.

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READY, SET, GO!

Potty Training: Simple Training Plan to Potty Train Your Child in 3 Days and Zero Hassle

Written by Nicky Forbes

The author views potty training as a practical necessity that is dreaded by many parents. She takes a pragmatic approach. The introduction lists the reasons for training before a child reaches kindergarten. She talks about its importance in the social environment, a child’s self-esteem, and impact on the environment. After stressing the need for discussing hygiene with the child and choosing the right potty, the parents are ready to begin training.

Stage One involves telling the child what to do, Stage Two proceeds to show the child what to do. Once that is accomplished, the period of practicing by establishing routines, rewards and dealing with a child’s fears is set in motion. Forbes insists that there is no right time for every child, and the possibility of setbacks and delays is a real one. Nevertheless, she insists that patience, praise, and rewards will make success inevitable. She believes that this can be accomplished with most children using this program within three days.

This guide is a good choice for new parents who do not have a clue on how to approach toilet training. It is practical and easy to follow. Personally, I used common sense in training my own children and did not feel the need to consult the experts, but parents who experienced a negative experience themselves or who fear their children might be reluctant will certainly find this no-nonsense guide useful.

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NOLA NO MORE

Nola

Written by Stephanie Lisa Tara

Illustrated by Pilar Lama

Nola was a northern white rhino who lived in the San Diego Safari Park. She was sweet and gentle. Her caretakers and visitors lover her dearly. When she died peacefully on November 22, 2015, the world mourned her loss. Now only three of her species are left on earth.

This beautiful nonfiction picture book presents her story to the world. Illustrated in soft, beautiful watercolors, Nola is seen happily romping through the grass and chewing her dinner, running with the herds, and speaking with other friends in the animal park. She looks forward to her human visitors. But there is danger lurking because her species is hunted for their trunk, the other animals warn her to hide. Nola is so large that she cannot find a spot to camouflage her. She leaves her readers with the message to be grateful for what you have. Bonus features included in this book allow the reader to view real photographs of the rhino and read an interview with Nola’s zookeeper, Jane Kennedy sharing her real-life experiences in caring for Nola.

This beautiful book is recommended for preschool and early elementary age children, though the beauty of Nola’s soul and her message will resonate with readers of all ages.

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UNLOCKING THE PUZZLE

Dyspraxia: A Parent’s Guide to Understanding Dyspraxia and How to Help a Dyspraxic Child

Written by Cassandra Simmons

This book does not portend to be an authoritative guide to dyspraxia, but rather a guide to understanding the nature of dyspraxia and helping parents cope with the disorder.

What is it? Dyspraxia is a motor planning disorder labeled DCD or developmental coordination disability. It is a neurological disorder that results in an inability to plan and coordinate physical movements. Each individual presents with unique manifestations which may include slurred speech, poor social skills, and balance or posture difficulties. The disorder affects approximately six to ten percent of children, though it is more prevalent in boys. No definitive cause has been identified, but genetics, premature birth, and alcoholic mothers have possible linkages. Children diagnosed with this disorder usually require physical and occupational therapy as well as speech therapy.

I believe the most valuable parts of the book are the author’s list of symptoms for parents to look for in each age group of children. This developmental guide begins right after birth and goes up through the teen years. Parents of dyspraxic children are given the advice to follow such as making themselves knowledgeable, allowing their child to socialize and play sports, having an open ear to listen to frustrations, and teaching practical life skills. Simmons does not forget the health of the parents, reminding them to take care of themselves by getting all the help available and joining support networks.

I recommend this book to parents, teachers, and caretakers as a resource to understand why children who appear to be clumsy or speech impaired are frustrated. We need to ensure that they receive the proper treatment to lead productive lives.

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AUTISM: 101

Autism: Simple and Inexpensive Natural Autism Therapies to Help Your Autistic Child Live a Calm and Healthy Life

Written by Nancy Perez

The author is a proponent of natural therapies to relieve stress and anxiety. She has used them to treat her own diabetes for years and has written how to employ them to assist in the treatment of autism. In this book, Perez provides an overview of the autism spectrum. While there is a myriad of symptoms and behaviors, all autistic children suffer from communication and socialization issues. Autism appears to have connections with both genetics and the environment.

The heart of the book deals with treatments. While many patients diagnosed with autism require some sort of medication, Perez focuses on more natural treatments. A definite diagnosis is often not made until after age five, but early intervention is important to address a child’s needs. Speech, physical and occupational therapy may be needed as well as special education to address cognition. Depending on the issues the individual faces, music therapy, art therapy, animal therapy, nature therapy, and swing therapy, might be effective interventions. I found the discussion of using horses (hippotherapy) to help a child process sensory movements enlightening. Simpler steps that can be implemented easily in the home include removing chemical products, messaging the child, experimenting with dietary needs, and introducing yoga. Learning each child’s preferences and needs is the most difficult aspect of living and working with a child on the autistic spectrum.

As an educator who has worked as a member of an interdisciplinary team treating autistic children, I would definitely recommend this book to parents and educators who are new to the field of autism as an easy to read introduction to the subject.

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